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‘Game of Thrones’ Deaths That Actually Surprised You

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Vote up the 'Game of Thrones' character finales you didn't see coming.

Game of Thrones was nothing if not consistent. Thanks to the sudden demise of characters you didn't think would die on Game of Thrones, fans always appreciated a good end every now and again, especially a surprising one. Think for a moment and several prominent character passings likely come to mind, especially that one from the very first season. This type of twist is something of a specialty for author George RR Martin, and it's carried over into the show. Throughout the HBO series, a lot of people have perished. Some have been offed in rather obvious ways - did anyone think Ramsay Bolton wasn't going to get torn apart by his dogs? - but others are complete surprises.

Fans waited a long time to find out who wound up on the Iron Throne, but along the way a lot of people they loved met their premature end. Fan theories kept everyone guessing for a long time, but now that the show has finally reached its conclusion, here are the most surprising casualties Game of Thrones gave viewers during its eight seasons.

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  • Robb And Catelyn Fall At The Red Wedding

    Robb And Catelyn Fall At The Red Wedding

    539 votes

    The Red Wedding is one of the most shocking events of the entire series. Just when it looks like Robb Stark is going to take Westeros for himself, his choice to abandon a marriage contract leads to his end and the slaying of his entire wedding party. This includes himself, his pregnant wife, his mother, and dozens of other people close to the Stark family.

  • Ned Loses His Head Thanks To Joffrey's Change Of Heart
    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire
    537 votes

    For the majority of the first season, it looks as if Eddard "Ned" Stark is going to be the main protagonist. That all comes to an end thanks to Petyr Baelish's betrayal, which leads to Ned's public slaying at the hands of Joffrey's headsman.

  • Shireen is a sad figure on Game of Thrones from the very beginning. She survives Greyscale but is forever scarred, which leads to her being housed in a tower for most of her life. Eventually, she's taken across the lands with her father, who decides it's best to sacrifice his only daughter (whom he loves dearly) to the Lord of Light. It's an attempt to gain the Lord's favor to help save his army, but it ultimately fails. Shireen is strapped to a post in the forest and burned, and Stannis still loses.

  • Jon Is Felled By His Own Brothers Of The Night's Watch
    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire
    479 votes

    Jon Snow is the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch who helped lead his men in the struggle to hold the Wall. His reward for doing so is a disloyal end that sees the men he trusted thrusting their swords into his belly. He perishes in the snow and is left there. He's returned to life thanks to the Lord of Light, but his initial end is unforgettable.

  • Hodor Perishes While Holding The Door

    Hodor's passing reveals that he's been, in a way, predicting his end the whole time. During his life, Hodor is only able to say "Hodor" and nothing else. The episode that features his demise tells the story of how this happened, and it's all thanks to Bran. "Hodor" turns out to be a mashed up version of "Hold the door," which is what he's doing the moment he perishes - allowing Bran and the others to escape.

  • Viserion Is Slain By The Night King

    Viserion Is Slain By The Night King

    433 votes

    The dragons on Game of Thrones seemed near-immortal and unstoppable, but that belief comes to an end when Viserion is taken down by the Night King. Moments later, the Night King resurrects Viserion to become a formidable asset in his army. The whole thing's a complete shock to the viewers, but also to Daenerys, who believes her "children" are relatively safe from harm. Ultimately, it's a well-placed ice spear that leads to the demise of the dragon who goes on to tear down the Wall, allowing the Night King and his army into Westeros.